Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Donald Macleod explores how Salieri, prompted by the affects of war and revolution, began to look more to teaching and composing sacred music.

In the fourth episode Donald Macleod discusses Salieri's first public competition against Mozart, initiated by Joseph II. Both composers had to write a short opera in their own language, and these would be presented side by side as part of the 1786 carnival season in Vienna. Salieri's work Prima la Musica, Poi le Parole, won favour over Mozart's composition. In addition to this, there was another opportunity to travel back to Paris to compose two more works, where he collaborated with the notorious Beaumarchais. Back in Vienna, Salieri was appointed Director of Music to the Imperial Chapel. He was the most influential composer in all Europe, and with this came a change in direction from opera, to sacred music and teaching. To end the programme we hear his Twenty-six Variations on La Folia di Spagna, which could be seen as an instructive guide to orchestration for his students.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Antonio Salieri

    Imperial Fanfare

    Artist: The Art of Trumpet, Vienna Artist: Leonhard Leeb (director)

    • Naxos 8.555879.
  • Antonio Salieri

    Non dubitar, verro (Prima la Musica, Poi le Parole - 1786)

    Artist: Donna Eleonora ...... Roberta Alexander (soprano) Artist: Poeta ...... Thomas Hampson (baritone) Artist: Maestro ...... Robert Holl (bass) Artist: Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam Artist: Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor)

    • Teldec 8.43336.
  • Antonio Salieri

    Organ Concerto (1773)

    Artist: Anton Gansberger (organ) Artist: Leonding Symphony Orchestra Artist: Uwe Christian Harrer (conductor)

    • Koch Schwann 3-1288-2.
  • Antonio Salieri

    Overture (Axur, Re d'Ormus - 1788)

    Artist: Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Artist: Michael Dittrich (conductor)

    • Marco Polo 8.223381.
  • Antonio Salieri

    Sanctus (Emperor Mass in D - 1788)

    Artist: St Florian Boys' Choir Artist: Leonding Symphony Orchestra Artist: Uwe Christian Harrer (conductor)

    • Koch Schwann 3-1288-2.
  • Antonio Salieri

    26 variations on La folia di Spagna (1815)

    Artist: London Mozart Players Artist: Matthias Bamert (director)

    • Chandos CHAN9877.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.